This week on Art of the Song, UK band My Darling Clementine is the featured artist.
About the musician:
One of the many definitions of harmony is.. agreement; accord; harmonious relations, so it is a sweet irony that in Country Music, the joining of two voices should so often be used to sing about disharmony. Songs of betrayal, regret, anger, guilt, revenge and hurt.
But it is that contradiction which draws us to this music. 2 people, singing to each other, about each other, while staring directly into each others eyes. As listeners we become voyeurs to something so personal. Like eavesdropping neighbours tuning into a domestic. We are at once curious, sad, compelled but yet unable to turn away.
The classic country duets were undoubtedly at their peak in the late 60s and 1970s, the likes of George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton and Porter Waggoner, Johnny & June and many more. Fast forward 40 years and those timeless themes are alive and well in the hands and voices of……..My Darling Clementine (aka Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish).
Michael Weston King, the seasoned troubadour, and the former leader of U.K. Alt Country pioneers The Good Sons (who MOJO dubbed “England’s very own Uncle Tupelo…”,) is widely seen as one of Britain’s finest singer songwriters. He has made 10 solo albums and 4 with The Good Sons. Always on the road, both solo and touring with the likes of Nick Cave, John Cale, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Roger McGuinn. His collaborations with Chris Hillman, Ron Sexsmith, Jackie Leven and the legendary Townes Van Zandt (who cut his own version of Michael’s song Riding The Range), have only enhanced his considerable musical reputation.
Lou Dalgleish is quite simply one of, if not THE finest female singers in the UK. She has been praised by, and worked with the likes of Elvis Costello, Bryan Ferry, The Brodsky Quartet, and many more. From 1993 – 2000 she released 4 albums (including the acclaimed Live at Ronnie Scotts) that showed off her unique songwriting, her stunning vocals and unique interpretation of other works. A long time Costello fan she can also be seen appearing in the show, “They Call Her Natasha” a stage show based on his life and music.
Both King and Dalgleish are no strangers to successful, independent music careers but after 10 years of marriage, the two turned their attention towards a joint project. The result was How Do You Plead?, an album that took the Country / Americana world by storm. Produced by Nick Lowe producer Neil Brockbank and featuring the cream of British players, including Geraint Watkins and Martin Belmont it garnered incredible critical acclaim. The debut single,100,000 Words became a BBC Radio 2 hit, and the band and album went on to win awards on both sides of the Atlantic.